This week marks the beginning of the Muslim observance of Ramadan. For the next month, Muslims will be fasting from sunrise to sunset. University of Northern Iowa Professor Mohammed Fahmy is a leader in the Cedar Falls Muslim community. He says the fasting during Ramadan has a purpose.It helps Muslims learn self-restraint, discipline and generosity. Fahmy says fasting also helps Muslims understand the difficulties others face.The fasting includes more than refraining from food and drinks. Muslims are taught during the fasting to not cuss, cheat, lie, backbite or indulge in characteristics that erode society. Fahmy says Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam — the other four are: declaration of faith, daily prayer, charity and a pilgrimage to Mecca.
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